It was a little cloudy out yesterday, so I thought I would make a chowder. Saturday at the Farmers Market I picked up some fresh corn that Blue Lizard brought in from another farm near Panaca. I had a couple of summer squash, a big colorful pattypan and another, as well as onions and leeks from Blue Lizard Farm and a craving for something fresh but filling.
Blue Lizard Farm is located North of Las Vegas in Caliente. They raise all sorts of vegetables in Hoop Houses to protect them from the elements.
I found a recipe that thickened the chowder by blending the corn with milk in the blender. It was meant for a low calorie recipe, which was great, because it gave me room to embellish.
Chowder Ingredient List
- Fresh corn (I had 3 small ears)
- frozen corn (defrost it of course. I used about 1 1/4 cup)
- squash (I had a big patty pan and another)
- leeks ( I just used one, but I used a good portion of the green)
- onion (I had 1/2)
- pancetta (1 5 oz container pre diced)
- thyme (5 stems)
- fontina cheese (1/2 cup shredded)
- paprika (teaspoon)
So I got to work prepping my ingredients.
Roast the Corn
I roasted the corn on the broiler. Cleaned if first of course then popped it in the broiler covered in butter for 5 minutes, flipped it and did 5 more minutes, then put it on a plate to cool. Of course if the weather is nice, free free to toss it outside on the grill!
Chop the onion, leek & squash
While the corn was roasting I got to work on the onion, leek and squash. All got diced. I used a good portion of the green part of the leek to give some variety in flavor. The squash were both big enough to have some pronounced seeds, so I scooped them out before dicing.
Now get cooking
Get a stock pot out (we are making soup here people!). Toss the pancetta in the bottom and render it down. Take the pancetta out when it is done and set it aside. Now add your onion and leek to those yummy drippings. (You can go vegetarian on this easily and just use olive oil and omit the pancetta). Let the onions soften then add the diced squash and stir it all around. At this point it will need to cook on med/high heat for about 8 minutes, with you stirring every now and then. So..while it’s cooking…
Get out the blender?
Yep you heard that right, get out the blender. Toss in your defrosted frozen corn then add a cup or so of milk. Blend until smooth (corn smoothie?). Now add a bit more milk, your destemmed thyme, some salt and pepper (and don’t let your squash burn while you are doing this, remember to check on it and stir between steps!)
Roasted Corn off the cob
The corn you roasted should be cool by now, so cut it off the cob and reserve some for topping your soup.
Mix it all together
So check to see if your squash has softened enough, you can give it a few extra minutes if it needs it. Now add your corn/milk mixture and stir things up. To this you can add some of your roasted corn, just make sure to set some aside for garnish. Then some of that pancetta (again set aside toppings). Sprinkle in some sweet paprika and taste it to see if you need more salt or pepper. Then, if like me, you are weak, shred in a little Fontina cheese.
I poured myself a bowl, topped it with a little more shredded Fontina, pancetta, roasted corn & thyme.
We have lots more recipes here on FloatingBoats.org and you can visit our Facebook page to visit the farmers markets with us and see updates on the great farmers and artisans that we meet there. We are also on Twitter and we have a sister site called Crushed Grape Chronicles that chronicles the journey of the grape, from dirt to glass. We speak with winemakers and visit vineyards…there is plenty of video and gorgeous wine country shots to be found there, if you are into that sort of thing.
We hope to see you around!
(pulled from our 4farm2mrkt website)